Monthly Archives: June 2017

Controlling speakers with RADAR

via Dangerous Prototypes

pics-1083-600

Speaker power controller made with a RADAR module from Scott Harden:

I just finished building a device that uses RADAR to toggle power to my speakers when it detects my hand waiving near them! I have some crummy old monitor speakers screwed to a shelf, and although their sound is decent the volume control knob (which also controls power) is small and far back on my work bench and inconvenient to keep reaching for. I decided to make a device which would easily let me turn the speakers on and off without having to touch anything. You could built a device to detect a hand waive in several different ways, but RADAR (RAdio Detection And Ranging) has got to be the coolest!

Project info at swharden.com.

Check out the video after the break.

Independence Day weekend sale

via Pololu Blog

In celebration of Independence Day (July 4th), we are discounting selected products by up to 25% and offering an upgrade to the next best price break for everything else in our store. Please note that we will be closed Tuesday, so orders placed after 2 PM Pacific Time on Monday, July 3 will be shipped on Wednesday, July 5.

For more information, including all the discount coupon codes, see the sale page.

Happy 4th of July!

Free PCB coupon via Facebook to 2 random commenters

via Dangerous Prototypes

BP

Every Friday we give away some extra PCBs via Facebook. This post was announced on Facebook, and on Monday we’ll send coupon codes to two random commenters. The coupon code usually go to Facebook ‘Other’ Messages Folder . More PCBs via Twitter on Tuesday and the blog every Sunday. Don’t forget there’s free PCBs three times every week:

Some stuff:

  • Yes, we’ll mail it anywhere in the world!
  • We’ll contact you via Facebook with a coupon code for the PCB drawer.
  • Limit one PCB per address per month, please.
  • Like everything else on this site, PCBs are offered without warranty.

We try to stagger free PCB posts so every time zone has a chance to participate, but the best way to see it first is to subscribe to the RSS feed, follow us on Twitter, or like us on Facebook.

Free PCB coupon via Facebook to 2 random commenters

via Dangerous Prototypes

BP

Every Friday we give away some extra PCBs via Facebook. This post was announced on Facebook, and on Monday we’ll send coupon codes to two random commenters. The coupon code usually go to Facebook ‘Other’ Messages Folder . More PCBs via Twitter on Tuesday and the blog every Sunday. Don’t forget there’s free PCBs three times every week:

Some stuff:

  • Yes, we’ll mail it anywhere in the world!
  • We’ll contact you via Facebook with a coupon code for the PCB drawer.
  • Limit one PCB per address per month, please.
  • Like everything else on this site, PCBs are offered without warranty.

We try to stagger free PCB posts so every time zone has a chance to participate, but the best way to see it first is to subscribe to the RSS feed, follow us on Twitter, or like us on Facebook.

Pi-powered hands-on statistical model at the Royal Society

via Raspberry Pi

Physics! Particles! Statistical modelling! Quantum theory! How can non-scientists understand any of it? Well, students from Durham University are here to help you wrap your head around it all – and to our delight, they’re using the power of the Raspberry Pi to do it!

At the Royal Society’s Summer Science Exhibition, taking place in London from 4-9 July, the students are presenting a Pi-based experiment demonstrating the importance of statistics in their field of research.

Modelling the invisible – Summer Science Exhibition 2017

The Royal Society Summer Science Exhibition 2017 features 22 exhibits of cutting-edge, hands-on UK science , along with special events and talks. You can meet the scientists behind the research. Find out more about the exhibition at our website: https://royalsociety.org/science-events-and-lectures/2017/summer-science-exhibition/

Ramona, Matthew, and their colleagues are particle physicists keen to bring their science to those of us whose heads start to hurt as soon as we hear the word ‘subatomic’. In their work, they create computer models of subatomic particles to make predictions about real-world particles. Their models help scientists to design better experiments and to improve sensor calibrations. If this doesn’t sound straightforward to you, never fear – this group of scientists has set out to show exactly how statistical models are useful.

The Galton board model

They’ve built a Pi-powered Galton board, also called a bean machine (much less intimidating, I think). This is an upright board, shaped like an upside-down funnel, with nails hammered into it. Drop a ball in at the top, and it will randomly bounce off the nails on its way down. How the nails are spread out determines where a ball is most likely to land at the bottom of the board.

If you’re having trouble picturing this, you can try out an online Galton board. Go ahead, I’ll wait.

You’re back? All clear? Great!

Now, if you drop 100 balls down the board and collect them at the bottom, the result might look something like this:

Galton board

By Antoine Taveneaux CC BY-SA 3.0

The distribution of the balls is determined by the locations of the nails in the board. This means that, if you don’t know where the nails are, you can look at the distribution of balls to figure out where they are most likely to be located. And you’ll be able to do all this using … statistics!!!

Statistical models

Similarly, how particles behave is determined by the laws of physics – think of the particles as balls, and laws of physics as nails. Physicists can observe the behaviour of particles to learn about laws of physics, and create statistical models simulating the laws of physics to predict the behaviour of particles.

I can hear you say, “Alright, thanks for the info, but how does the Raspberry Pi come into this?” Don’t worry – I’m getting to that.

Modelling the invisible – the interactive exhibit

As I said, Ramona and the other physicists have not created a regular old Galton board. Instead, this one records where the balls land using a Raspberry Pi, and other portable Pis around the exhibition space can access the records of the experimental results. These Pis in turn run Galton board simulators, and visitors can use them to recreate a virtual Galton board that produces the same results as the physical one. Then, they can check whether their model board does, in fact, look like the one the physicists built. In this way, people directly experience the relationship between statistical models and experimental results.

Hurrah for science!

The other exhibit the Durham students will be showing is a demo dark matter detector! So if you decide to visit the Summer Science Exhibition, you will also have the chance to learn about the very boundaries of human understanding of the cosmos.

The Pi in museums

At the Raspberry Pi Foundation, education is our mission, and of course we love museums. It is always a pleasure to see our computers incorporated into exhibits: the Pi-powered visual theremin teaches visitors about music; the Museum in a Box uses Pis to engage people in hands-on encounters with exhibits; and this Pi is itself a museum piece! If you want to learn more about Raspberry Pis and museums, you can listen to this interview with Pi Towers’ social media maestro Alex Bate.

It’s amazing that our tech is used to educate people in areas beyond computer science. If you’ve created a pi-powered educational project, please share it with us in the comments.

The post Pi-powered hands-on statistical model at the Royal Society appeared first on Raspberry Pi.

Friday Product Post: Hatters Gonna Hat

via SparkFun Electronics Blog Posts

Hello and welcome, one and all, to this Friday Product Post. We have a pretty big week for you guys, and we are excited to started showing off all the parts. This Friday we are pleased to bring you JustBoom’s three marvelous audio HATs for the Raspberry Pi, as well as eight different sewable LED ribbon options, perfect for adding a bit of flair to any article of clothing. Let’s take a closer look, shall we?

You wait here; I’ll go on a head. Well…a header.

JustBoom Digi HAT

DEV-14317
39.95

The JustBoom Digi HAT is a high-resolution digital audio output add-on board for the Raspberry Pi. Simply stack the plug-and-play add-on board (HAT) onto your Raspberry Pi A+, B+, 2B or the new 3B, and it will be ready to use immediately. The JustBoom Digi HAT produces an unmodified, high-quality digital audio data stream for bit-perfect transmission to your hi-fi system.

JustBoom Amp HAT

DEV-14318
79.95

Like its siblings above and below, the JustBoom Amp HAT is a high-quality audio amplifier designed specifically for the Raspberry Pi. Digital-to-analog conversion is also included with the Amp HAT, so no external sound cards or DACs are required. Featuring a Class-D power amplifier chip with built-in 192kHz/32-bit DAC, for a peak power output of 2 x 55 watts, the JustBoom Amp HAT outputs audio over two speaker cable connector blocks that accept anything up to 14 AWG cable and will provide crystal-clear audio to either 4 or 8 ohm passive speakers.

JustBoom DAC HAT

DEV-14319
39.95

The last of the HATs is the JustBoom DAC HAT, a plug-and-play, high-resolution digital-to-analog converter featuring a 384kHz/32-bit DAC chip with hardware volume mixing as well as a 138mW headphone amplifier. Outputs are line level over RCA and headphone amplified over 3.5mm jack cable.

Global Power Supply - 15V 4.34A

PRT-14338
34.95

Of course you’ll need a good power supply for some of those HATs. The Global Power Supply is a 15V, 4.34A power device specifically designed to work with the JustBoom Amp HAT for the Raspberry Pi. Additionally, as this is a “global” power supply, each order includes plug adapters for the United States, United Kingdom, European Union and Australia.

Sew bright!

Sewable LED Ribbon - 1m, 50 LEDs (Red)

COM-14136
14.95

Sewable LED Ribbon is quite possibly one of the easiest ways to incorporate simple illumination and color effects into your next e-textiles project! Each strand of this ribbon is a meter long with 50 small red LEDs. These LED ribbons are highly flexible, foldable, and can even make knots.

We also carry this same ribbon with only 25 LEDs at a lower price. Red isn’t the only color we carry, though!

Sewable LED Ribbon - 1m, 50 LEDs (Green)

COM-14137
14.95

We also carry green LED ribbon in 50 LED and 25 LED varieties…

Sewable LED Ribbon - 1m, 50 LEDs (Blue)

COM-14138
14.95

Blue LED ribbon with 50 LEDs and 25 LEDs

Sewable LED Ribbon - 1m, 50 LEDs (White)

COM-14139
14.95

And lastly, white LED ribbon with 50 LEDs and 25 LEDs.

That’s it, people! Plenty of new options for projects and experiments alike. As always, we can’t wait to see what you make with these parts! Shoot us a tweet @sparkfun, or let us know on Instagram or Facebook. We’d love to see what projects you’ve made!

Thanks for stopping by. We’ll see you next week with even more new products!

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